The Thief Collector

USA, Feature Documentary, 2022, 95 min art-heist documentary with an ‘Oh. My. God.’ Factor Variety

In 1985, Willem de Kooning’s “Woman-Ochre,” one of the most valuable paintings of the 20th century, vanished into the Arizona desert after being cut from its frame at the University of Arizona Museum of Art. It was one of the most audacious and puzzling art thefts of a generation. Thirty-two years later, the $160 million painting was found hanging behind a bedroom door in the home of retired school teachers Jerry and Rita Alter in rural New Mexico. The Thief Collector takes a deep look at how and why this mild-mannered couple pulled off one of the greatest art heists of a generation. Was this their only art theft? And why was this couple so protective of their septic tank?

Directed by Allison Otto

Boulder Premiere

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Venues: The Boulder Theater; Grace Commons Church, 1820 15th Street; Boulder High; Cinemark Century Boulder 1, 1700 29th St.; Cinemark Century Boulder 2, 1700 29th St.; eTown Hall; Longmont Museum’s Stewart Auditorium